Most grown-up children can remember the time when they progressed from their DIY toilet roll optics to real binoculars. These were usually an adult’s expensive set, which they didn’t really want to be covered with sticky fingers, which meant child-friendly alternatives were needed. Binoculars for children depend on their age group and experience, thus bringing you the list of best binoculars for kids.
Cheap toy binoculars may satisfy a child for a short period of time, but if the idea of long-distance optics takes their fancy, they will soon want to progress to the real things. Thus, bringing you a selection binoculars for kids at different price points which should not only cover most age ranges, but also interest levels.
1. Zeiss 8×25 Terra ED (Overall Winner)
Just like the Leica below, the Zeiss 8×25 binoculars benefit from a world-renowned optics brand, which means you will be parting with a few hundred dollars, but you also get quality in exchange. These binoculars for kids look and feel quality made, with a nice rubberized grip for easy holding.
Providing 8x magnification, a 25mm lens diameter and a close focusing distance of 6.23ft. A hydrophobic multi-coating has been applied to the SCHOTT ED glass, while the focus wheel is easily accessible as the Diopter Adjustment providing +3 | -3 dpt.
Zeiss produces a full range of Terra ED binoculars, coming in at different price points, with varying levels of light-gathering capabilities, fields, and angles of view. The ‘8×25’ versions being the most cost-effective of the bunch. Overall, excellent image quality for those who are more discerning about their binocular choice.
The National Geographic 6×21 child binoculars are essentially rebranded versions of the Bresser ExploreOne 6×21 Junior Compact binoculars. Just with the added stamp of approval from the National Geographic and coming in a rather funky yellow color scheme. Fully functional and hard-wearing, having a roof prism for optimal performance.
A 6x magnification provides a 360ft wide view with anti-reflective coatings, providing a very clear image and the diopter adjustment ring is an easy way to balance the image for both eyes. The design is also compact, which is great for small hands and is extremely lightweight at 190g, which is ideal for young children. The eyepieces can also be folded to be used with glasses, with an IPD range of 5cm to 6.3cm for smaller set eyes.
In total, low-cost and a great first step into the world of binoculars for kids.
For children approaching their teenage years, they will be asking for binoculars which more resemble the adult versions. Luckily, for not much more money than some child-friendly versions, there’s the Vortex Vanquish 8×26 binoculars to consider. Generally costing under $100, these provide 8x magnification, with 26mm lenses, multicoated glass, twist and lock eyecups and a rubberized texture for extra grip.
The field of view is 353ft. at 1000 yards, with a close focusing distance of 7.6 feet. The image produced by these binoculars is both clear and bright and would suit everything from general wildlife observation to the viewing of outdoor events. Rocksolid performance is the key here.
One thing’s for sure, you won’t be short of color choices with the Levenhuk Rainbow binoculars. Seven colors to choose from and although not made specifically for children, they are small and compact enough for small faces. Benefiting from BaK-4 Roof prisms, multicoated lenses and twisting eyecups, give a general feel of quality.
The double hinge design is ideal for small children and means the binoculars can be folded up into a small package. The 8x magnification provides a field of view of 399ft. at 1000 yards and although the image is good quality, it’s not to the levels of slightly more expensive units. But as a total package, these binoculars are lightweight and good value for the money.
Moving up a touch in price, the Minox 7×28 BD binoculars look and feel more like adult versions with a very simple design and feature 8x magnification. The lenses have an anti-reflective coating and the field of view lets you see 430ft at 1000 yards. The extra money goes into the BK-7 glass and the units are filled with nitrogen gas for full weatherproofing.
Small enough to be used by children or for travel, the image quality cannot be faulted for the size and the folding design is capable of being used by a wide range of face types.
The Opticron Oregon 4 LE WP 8×25 binoculars are small and rugged, compact enough to fit in a sizeable pocket. The hinged design can accommodate most face sizes, with the optics having multicoated lenses and the whole unit being weatherproofed. They also have a reasonable close focusing distance of 6.6ft, which makes them very good for viewing close up objects.
A good balance between quality and cost.
If you want to move onto more expensive optics for either older children or binoculars you can share, the Leica Trinovid HD 8×32 could be a good choice. Produced by the world-renowned Leica cameras, this viewing device provides 8x magnification, with a 32mm lens diameter and a close viewing distance of 3.28 ft.
Light and compact, your money is going into the optical quality, which results in an extremely clear and bright image. These binoculars are a clear ramp up in price and the most expensive on this list, but when you consider the Leica quality and the cost of their most expensive units, these binoculars feel like a bargain. This means that they are for people who are more serious about binocular use.
8. SVBONY SV50 (Budget Winner)
Ticking all the boxes for child-friendly optics, the SVBONY SV50 binoculars comes very close. The diminutive size means these binoculars could easily be used as travel companions, but the tiny size also means they are more applicable to small hands. The unit has a BAK7 prism, 10x magnification, and a 378ft viewing width at 1000 yards. The optics are also multicoated, improving the brightness and contrast at large distances.
The rubberized design means they can be bashed around to some extent and the twist-up eyecups are especially handy for those who wear glasses. The large depth of field means they are focus free and the only real downside is the close focus distance isn’t the best for viewing very close-up objects. Generally, very good quality binoculars which are far better than the price implies.
Choosing Binoculars for Kids
There are many different types of binoculars for kids, with some examples seemingly too good to be true from a price perspective. However, you generally get what you pay for, which means the cheapest units will be soon outgrown.
Spending just that little extra can provide heaps more quality, plus the units will take the rigors of outdoor use and be much more pleasurable to use. Cost-effective is good, but there’s nothing like quality optics when it comes to binoculars.